Explorer April 24-May 1

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#1
1,383 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Background: 4 cruises (RCCL/Carnival/Carnival/RCCL)
We went with 27 of our friends the kids were 14-21 years old
Cabin 8268 Balcony

We stayed at the Holiday Inn at the Port of Miami. Spent pre cruise night at Bayside. Excellent location and nice hotel for pre and post cruise.

Embarkation left the hotel at 10:30 were able to check in after about 10 mins. Went to the deck 8 check in desk and then zipped through the next line. They had lemonade and water and cookies out for you to eat while waiting. In the final line you had a choice of getting the picture or not. we got it. We then headed on board looked around alittle and then headed for the Windjammer/Island Grill for lunch. Got into our room at 1:00. Changed and headed for the pool.

Sailaway: We were forward on deck 12 so we could see both sides of the channel. We had bubbles which was fun.

Cabin: 8268 on the starboard side forward. Our cabin steward was Florence and she came in to introduce herself. Very she was great during the week and was always helpful. The cabin was smaller than Carnival but plenty of space there were pull down shelves in the closet. Lots of room under the bed. This cabin had a twin bed over the pillows of the queen bed... for the 3rd passenger. Worked out very well out of the way.

Public space: amazing ship the Promanade waas beautiful and the palce we would always meet folks from our group. The internet cafe was n our floor. The dinningroom is 3 floors and beautiful. The theater was very nice.

Ice Show/Rink it is amazing to think you are on a ship and can go to an ice show and skate which I did. Not to be missed.

Shows: We had the Osmonds as headliners good show... The RCCl dancers and singers were also good. The comedy shows were great. We didn't miss any of the shows.

Portofinos We went here on Weds night ith another couple. very good food and service was impecable... def. worth the extra charge.

Dinning room: The food was very good and lots of choices I don't ee where anyone would be disappointed. We were at 3 tables on level 5 Columbus 501/502/503. We had Wilfredo and Aida for waiter and they are the best I wanted to take them home.... very good at entertaining us.... made for a wonderful experience. The bar guy was Nigel he was so good and so much fun

Windjammer/Island Grill: ate breakfast and lunch here. very good variety and always something we liked. 4 buffet lines keep things moving. Excellent service here refills on drinks removing of dirty plates and just plain personable when asked about ship or themselves.

Johnny Rockets: The kids went here often my family had coupons from C/A but the food was just likle the local rest. the waiters danced and sang.

Sports court mini golf we used this but nothing else.

Lounges: Spent time in the jazz club Dizzy's what an amazing view not to be missed. We also went to the english pub on the promanade. And the Marahjas lounge. All had excellent service.

Casino: What can one say...

Suggestions: It would have been nice to have a station out by the pool for lemonade and ice tea. Right next to the ever preent soft serve...

Promenade Cafe: What a jewel this is... pizza/coffee/sodas/desserts/great little sandwiches Ben and Gerry's ice cream available all the time Oh and the best cookies choco chip and coconut.

Shore Excursions: Let me say there were no disappointments here. We booked Belize Rays for a snorkel private island tour www.belizerays.com
you will not be disappointed.
In Costa Maya we went to the fishing village and spent the day at Tapas
great place.
In Cozumel we went to Paradise Beach another great day..... My husband went to play golf.
In Grand Cayman we walked to Eden Rock and went snorkeling. Amazing fish just like a aquarium.
I have posted separate reviews on the ports of call page.

Final thoughts: I think we will stick with RCCL. We had fun on Carnival but this time we noticed a big difference in staff on RCCL. On Carnival we never met our cabin person on either trip. The staff seems to be just going thru the functions of doing their jobs. On RCCL the staff is friendly helpful and really like their jobs. Everyone I met from the in the hall/Windjammer/pool or the dive shop or he photo shop was very friendly and greeted you by name. Even the guy on the gangway when he looked at you card called you by name. wwhen we went to the past guest party there was someone who had done 39 cruises on RCCl and there were 879 past cruisers on the cruise. That has to say something. We are looking at going back in April 2007. If you have any questions please ask.
Marie
Granduer 1999
Victory 2001
Triumph 2003
Explorer 2005
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RCCL Granduer 1999
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RCCL Explorer On a C Cruise 2005
RCCL Freedom On a C Cruise 2007
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#2
Toronto, Canada
4,495 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Thanks for the great review. Sounds like you had an amazing time. Only 7 more months to go.

Sharonna
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a.k.a. -- Sharonna






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#3
Maine
1,918 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
Thanks for your review. We have sailed Carnival and really like it but looking at RCCL because of the itinerary - 4 ports for eastern caribbean but it is more expensive. Sounds like you like RCCL better? I have been looking at balcony cabins through RCCL and they seem the same sq. footage as a cat 8A balcony cabin on Carnival. What type of cabin did you have on RCCL. We sailed the Song of America years ago and it was really small...would never want to do that again.
#4
Atlanta Georgia USA
69 Posts
Joined May 2005
Marie, thanks for the information. I am sailing on a large family reunion cruise on EOS on June 26. I had heard some bad things about the food and wanted to get some other opinions. Sounds like you really enjoyed yourself!
#5
1,383 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
We were in cabin 8268 which was a deluxe balcony cabin 173 sq ft. Very efficient space ours had a pull down bed ao we had 3 in our cabin.
Yes we liked RCCL better than Carnival. We started with RCCL and went on 2 Carnival.
Next time we will sail RCCL again
Marie
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RCCL Granduer 1999
CCL Victory 2001
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RCCL Explorer On a C Cruise 2005
RCCL Freedom On a C Cruise 2007
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#6
St. Peter, Fl
51 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Marie, great review and glad that you had a great time. We too have switched from CCl to RCCL.

We sail on EOS 5/22, only a couple weeek away!!! Question about the teens that you were sailing with. Did they find alot of others in thier age group (14-16)? Were there alot or little of kids/teens on board?

We are in a similar cabin port side, did you find this to be a good location to get to most activities?

Do you know how long the Osmonds will be the headliners? Does anyone know how to find this information out?

Thanks
#7
jersey
2,664 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Hi Marie! Welcome back! Glad you had a good time! I have a question about Golf. You said your husband played in Cozumel. Did he bring his own clubs? Was it something he booked in advance? Any info you can give would be greatly appreciated. My husband lives for golf!
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#8
NW Burbs, Chicago
306 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Can you tell me what types of food are available in the windjammer? For example: fresh fruit (cut up), garden salad, hot dogs, chicken nuggets? Thanks for your help!!!!
#9
Florida
421 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Thanks for the great review!

I can hardly wait - even though our cruise is almost 6 months away!
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Kelly

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#10
1,383 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
The teens we went with more or less hung out together. But there were alot of other kids on board and they seem to be hooking up with each other.
Golf at Country Club Cozumel... my husband did not bring his clubs rented them and he said they were of good quality... he did bring shoes and balls.
Our cabin was slightly forward of mid ship elevator which went directly to the pool/ Windjammer/ and dinning room. This elevator went to the Promenade. So the location was good. There is also a forward elevator. This was neear the internet cafe. We had people on both port and starboard sides didn't seem to make a dif. I will say that it was somewhat confusing to find your way arround the first few days as all the halls looked the same!!!
Had a great time you will love it...
Marie
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RCCL Granduer 1999
CCL Victory 2001
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RCCL Explorer On a C Cruise 2005
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RCCL Radiance of the Seas 1/8/2011
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#11
1,383 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Almost forgot the food question... The Windjammer/Island Grill had the following
Breakfast alll the usual in addition to an egg station in the back in the Island Grill.... Fruit bar. Very good selection
Lunch... HD and Hamburgers A chicken dish a fish and a beef dish which changed each day. They also had fries/ rice/ and a potato dish. In addition to 2 types of past and 2 types of sauces (red and white) and there was always a salad bar. Bread/ dessert were at a separate station along with fruit.
The beverages at breakfast at no charge were orange and apple juice coffee and tea and ice water along with milk choc. and white.
At lunch there was lemonade/ice tea/ice water milk/tea/coffee all at no charge.
Also available was soft serve ice cream in several stations around the ship.
Also at N/C.
Johnny Rockets is avail at 3.95 per person per visit and this was a hit with the teens... good burgers/fries/onion rings/chix sandwiches and grilled cheese. they also have shakes and are located one deck above the pool.
Our favorite place was the promenade Cafe. Here you can get sandwiches/pizza/coffee/tea/milk/and desserts including great choc. chip cookies.They are open late. Also in this area is Benny and Gerry's Ice Cream which is a charge but we didn't get it...
Bottom line you will not go hungry...
Marie
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RCCL Granduer 1999
CCL Victory 2001
CCL Triumph 2003
RCCL Explorer On a C Cruise 2005
RCCL Freedom On a C Cruise 2007
RCCL Majesty 2007
RCCL Granduer 2008
RCCL Liberty On a C Cruise 2009
RCCL Radiance of the Seas 1/8/2011
RCCL Oasis of the Seas 3/12/11
RCCL Majesty 11/21/11
Coral Princess Alaska August 2012
RCCL Majesty 11/19/2012
CCL Breeze 4/27/2013
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RCCL Freedom of the Seas 1/21/17
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#12
1,383 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
One more thing we booked the golf thing on the TV when we got there but you ccan book on line up to 10 days before. The Osmonds got on in Cozumel... I think it was a short stay... you can email guest relations and ask who the entertainment is for a particular week... sorry I con't have the email anymore...
M
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RCCL Granduer 1999
CCL Victory 2001
CCL Triumph 2003
RCCL Explorer On a C Cruise 2005
RCCL Freedom On a C Cruise 2007
RCCL Majesty 2007
RCCL Granduer 2008
RCCL Liberty On a C Cruise 2009
RCCL Radiance of the Seas 1/8/2011
RCCL Oasis of the Seas 3/12/11
RCCL Majesty 11/21/11
Coral Princess Alaska August 2012
RCCL Majesty 11/19/2012
CCL Breeze 4/27/2013
CCL Liberty 4/26/2014
RCCL Independence of Seas 2/8/2015
RCCL Freedom of the Seas 1/21/17
RCCL Oasis of the Seas 3/26/17
#13
Baltimore, MD
24 Posts
Joined May 2005
There will be no shortage of food for you. We were on the same cruise and found lots of food at all times. We had the second seating (830pm), which worked out great -- everyday our group (adults and kids) would go to the Cafe Promenade around 430 to 5pm and get cookies, pastries or small sandwiches, which would carry us over until dinner (there is also a soft serve ice cream machine right next to it). We also enjoyed the "snack" service at the Windjammer (this was around 330 pm), as we did not eat lunch on Grand Cayman after our stingray excursion - the "snack" included hotdogs and make your own tacos (which were excellent), as good as any lunch.
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Jerry
Baltimore, MD

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#14
1 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Thanks for the great review!

Rensie, we sail on EOS 5/22 also. Really waiting this. I tried to book a diving in Cayman. It would started at 10:00 local time (CST). Diving operator though that the ship is on EDT which means that we arrive in Cayman at 8:30 local time. Propably that would give us enough time to get our 10:00 dive. He wasn´t sure about it.

I found some discussion and it confused me. It seems that different rules with different cruise lines. Please help me. When we arrive in Cayman at local time? Same problem with Cozumel and Majahual.


#15
1,383 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Here is the lowdown on time
Belize 2 hours behind
Costa Maya 1 hours behind
Cozumel 1 hour behind
Grand Cayman 1 hour behind

In Belize you have to allow for tendering time which is about 15-20 to shore.
In GC we were off the ship by 9:30 ship time and the trip is 2 minutes from the ship. Hope this helps. With the exception of Belize we generally tried to get off the ship by 10:00 and it never was a problem
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RCCL Granduer 1999
CCL Victory 2001
CCL Triumph 2003
RCCL Explorer On a C Cruise 2005
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#16
NW Burbs, Chicago
306 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Marie- THANKS SOOO much for the reply on Food in the windjammer. you really helped to answer my questions. I have a picky 7 year old...need I say more! Thanks again...you're wonderful
#17
Phoenix
3,562 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts on your cruise! It gets me so excited everytime I read one.
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#18
Ohio
3,011 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
quiltsnh ...

Thank you for the great review. We are booked on the Explorer for late March 2006. Our last experience on the voyager class was the Voyager in 2002. Two of the things I thought needed correcting at that time you have addressed in the review you wrote (indifferent help in the Windjammer and no soft serve on the pool deck ... it was only available at that time on the Royal Promenade). We are hoping the extended family will join us, but we haven't waited for them to make plans. I've booked a bump cabin on the 7th deck ... we had an atrium cabin on the voyager. Loved the atrium cabin, but having had a balcony on the Splendour last year -- I got spoiled.
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#19
37 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Hi quiltsnh,

We will be leaving this Friday on the Explorer 9-night Caribbean cruise out of Bayonne, NJ. We are booked in the exact same cabin as you had years ago
(8268). I know it was a while ago but could recall a little bit about your cabin? I know you said it had a twin bed over the pillows of the queen bed. Did this cabin also have a sofa? Was the ride smooth in this part of the ship? This is our first cruise and and we are getting very excited!

Thanks!

Randy